Truck Veers Off Freeway, Crashes Down Ravine

Incident Happened On I-5 Near Via De La Valle In Del Mar

A driver was hospitalized Friday after crashing his pickup truck down a Del Mar-area ravine.

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The crash happened shortly before 10 a.m. on the northbound Interstate 5, just south of Via de la Valle, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the driver of a beige 1991 Chevrolet pickup truck somehow lost control, plunged about 60 feet down the ravine and travelled nearly 600 feet before coming to a stop.

Since it was buried beneath the brush, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Capt. John Wilson said crews had a hard time even spotting the crash.

"It was a very difficult rescue because there was a lot of trees and branches and things that we had to cut to get to the vehicle," Wilson said.

The driver was trapped inside the truck, and rescue crews used chainsaws and other equipment to free him from the vehicle. The rescue took approximately 45 minutes.

The driver was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital with minor injuries.

"He's very lucky," Wilson said, "Very lucky indeed."

During the past five and a half years, Caltrans said five cars have run off the road in that location. Wilson said a barrier could be put in place to prevent other vehicles from going over the edge.

"They create their own set of problems," Caltrans District Director of Traffic Operations Joe Hull said. "Someone could run into a concrete barrier and be severely injured by running into the barrier or rebound out into traffic as opposed to doing down a slope."

No other vehicles were involved in the incident, the CHP said.

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